Big Lead Sports Bar

12/14/2006

Steelers Week in Review: Porter's Comments, Cowher's Comments, Salary Cap '07, Pro Bowl, Carolina

Steelers coverage on Mondesi's House has been sparse this week, so I'll try to get up to speed on all the pressing issues in one neat, tidy post.
Joey Porter fined $10,000 for his "derogatory comment" about Kellen Winslow
There's a few things we can say with confidence:
1. Joey Porter is a moron
2. Kellen Winslow is also a moron
3. If you're a public figure, don't call anyone a name when microphones and/or cameras are running
4. We live in a politically correct world.
Did Joey's comments really offend any gay people? Maybe a few, but for the most part, I doubt it. I'm sure they just considered the source. Should he act so surpised when he gets fined? Well, maybe you haven't noticed, but #55 is a bit of a "look-at-me" showman. So of course he will flip out after being docked 10 large. Apparently he never heard of John Rocker, Michael "Middle Finger" Vick, or anyone else that had a public incident that caused everyone to cringe.
The cooler reaction would've been like Randy Moss a few years ago, when he said he was paying for a fine in "straight cash, homey".
Porter did bring up a good point when he noted that other players are getting DUIs and are not getting fined by the league. Let's face it, the NFL slapping Porter on the wrist was a PR move. They were in damage control. But how much negative PR for the league have the Bengals and Chargers generated this year? Porter was dumb for what he said and deserved the fine, but he didn't endanger the lives of others.
Bill Cowher: "Obviously, my wife and I both grew up in the Raleigh area." (link)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is Carlynton High in Raleigh, or in greater Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh, you say? I thought so. So where is Cowher going with this comment? What a slap in the face to the city. And why did he wait until December to finally address the situation with the national media, when he's avoided it on every level from the Pittsburgh media? At this point, I'd be shocked if Cowher did come back next year.
The Steelers are projected to be $150,000 under the cap in 2007
That's a far cry from the $42.1 million that San Francisco has to burn. Heck, even New England has 30 million extra reasons to contend in '07...that's what happens when you let every able-bodied wide receiver on your roster sign with another team. The bottom line: don't look for the black and gold to be among the biggest spenders in free agency. And count on some "cap casualties" to free up some extra room. Hopefully the money will be spent better than in 2004, when a certain veteran free agent running back was signed to a multi-year deal.
Willie Parker for the Pro Bowl
You can tell it's a bad season when you can count the Pro Bowl candidates on half of a hand. Parker is third in the AFC in rushing, behind Mr. Touchdown and Diaper Boy. The only other AFC backs in the top 15 of the NFL are Fred Taylor (8th), Rudi Johnson (9th), and Travis Henry (14th). So I would think Fast Willie is a deserving candidate.
Who else could even be considered from the Steelers? Maybe a defensive lineman like Hampton or Aaron Smith, but outside of that, probably no one. Even the Hawaii regulars, like Polamalu, Faneca, and Porter had non-Pro Bowl years. And poor Ike Taylor, who campaigned for a spot in Honolulu last year...now coming off the bench. What a horrendous, horrendous nightmare of a season.
The Carolina Game
By all account, there should be a strong contingent of Steeler fans in attendance, including Ramon Mondesi, my brother. I expect a solid in-person recap. The traveling Steeler Nation is always a nice touch. But what can we expect for an outcome? Chris Weinke is starting, and his record in Carolina is a mind-blowing 1-16. That's a nice stat to know. But Max Starks trying to block Julius Peppers is downright scary. Roethlisberger should consider wearing two helmets if at all possible.
Do the Steelers have an answer for Steve Smith? Does Carolina have any chance of running the ball, after posting just 45 yards against the Giants on Sunday? What kind of impact can we expect from Hines Ward, coming off of the injury? How much will the Steelers miss Polamalu on Sunday?
I can say one thing with certainty: these are probably the two biggest disappointments in the league this year. I hear the argument that Carolina is the biggest, but I can't get past the defending Super Bowl champs battling uphill all year as the bigger disappointment.
The Panthers hold on to faint wild card hopes, and the Steelers continue to clutch that miniscule percentage point that keeps them alive. So each team has something to play for, other than those million-dollar salaries they collect to give a good effort each week. I'm hoping for an entertaining game, lots of John Cougar Mellencamp commercials, and some top-notch announcing from CBS. Let's keep our fingers crossed for Gus Johnson, everyone. Even if it's not an exciting game, we'll think we're watching one.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Cowher's went to college at NC State, so thats probably what he meant when he said growing up. It's a nice area and a much warmer place to retire than Pittsburgh.

Dirty Sanchez said...

Raleigh/Cary is a very nice area, so if Mrs. Chin wants Bill to chill out there for a few years, there are worse places to be.

I'm probably going to be in the minority on this, but I'll miss 55 when he's gone. Yeah, he's a bit of a diva and attention hound, but he always went 100% and frankly I like the intensity he displays. None of those dude hugs and prayer circles for J. Peezy. He'll call you a M.F. before the game, during the game, and after the game. Not saying they should sign him to a contract extension (they shouldn't, in case the Steelers forgot how quickly Jason Gildon went downhill) or even that he is a lock to be on the roster next year, but if he isn't let's not turn our backs and scorn Porter like Pittsburgh fans always do with former players.

This isn't some candy-ass, half-effort guy like Burress. Porter might do it in a way that makes us cringe, but he is a leader on a defense full of introverted guys. Besides, how can you not like a guy who shows up to his wedding 3 hours late, kisses his coach on national TV, mocks Howard Dean, punks Soldier Winslow, and whose Pit Bulls eat the neighbors pony?

That said, Porter is a $6.4M cap hit next year, so it's possible that the Steelers would go with James Harrison, although Haggans is no bargain at $3.7M. Maybe Hartings comes back at a lower base salary, figure out what to do with Starks since he's a restricted free agent, send Gardocki packing on June 1st at 12:01 am. I think the Steelers will be able to make sensible signings like they had with Ryan Clark this year. I have no qualms with letting the Redskins go out and overpay for other teams' discards.

Colcloughs Hands said...

porters act has gotten old....and whats with all the camo he wears in interviews? is he a soldier now?

eh jeh said...

I just wanted to point out that it is possible for Ben to wear two helmets if need be.

Let us not forget former Buffalo Bills safety Mark Kelso, who suffered so many concussions that he actually had a helmet liner that stretched over his helmet for added protection. I guess you could call it a helmet helmet.

The only reason I remember this stupid trivia fact is because it was the most ridiculous helmet in NFL history. It would have looked great on Merton Hank's neck, though.

Anonymous said...

J Peezy's celebration of a sack, while, you know, the team is losing is kinda annoying too.

KPatrick said...

"Porter did bring up a good point when he noted that other players are getting DUIs and are not getting fined by the league."

And then he totally blew that by arguing that it was only media outcry and media sticktuitiveness that turned this into a controversy. I didn't watch much of the game, so I guess I missed him running away from the camera. But I shouldn't be surprised, because everybody knows Joey Porter hates a camera. Damn media.

if it wasn't for the media, Joey Porter would be James Farrior. Guess you gotta take the good with the bad, but ... great football player, but he goes to great lengths to prove that he's a dumb asshole.